Janice Rodrigues |NT Kuriocity
Cyder and Cinida grew up as neighbours in Santa Cruz, but went to different schools. For the past month, the teens had been making trips to Vasco every alternate evening. Little did they realise that these trips would enable them to win two gold medals, in something they both love doing – dance.
In the recently held India International Tanzsport Contessa organised by TanzVerden Ballroom International School and the 7th Maharashtra Dancesport championship organised by Maharashtra Dancesport Association, the association struck gold. Judged for their fancy footwork, musicality and showmanship, Goa Dancesport Association surely won over their competitors.
Out of the six couples that entered the competition, five of the participants are still in school and college. Cyder Dias, Cinida Dias, Maeve Fernandes, Ivanna Gomes along with their partners Seby Gauncar and Milroy Quadros, in spite of their busy schedules of school, tuition and studies, won laurels at the competitions. Maeve, who is a ninth standard Presentation Convent student, tells us about her busy schedule for the past month, “After school and tuitions I used to study for a while and then we had to leave for Vasco every alternate day. The practice sessions were held between 6.30 p.m. and 10.30 p.m. after which we would return home.” Her partner Milroy, who recently graduated from the Rosary College, Navelim, accompanied her for all the practice sessions. He says that they would practice at their individual level as well. “I am just glad all the late hours and hard work has paid off and we have achieved what we were aiming for. Gold in all categories,” he says. Maeve and Milroy won four gold medals in the silver level category in jive, rumba, samba, cha cha in the India International Tanzsport Contessa held at St Joseph’s School Hall, Bandra, Mumbai. The competition had participation from places as far as Sri Lanka, thus proving to be a tough fight.
Seby and his partner Ivanna also won four gold medals in the same competition, but for the gold category. “We won the gold in all the four dances that we participated in, I am really thrilled about that,” says Seby, who practiced for nearly three to four hours on a daily basis, sometimes travelling to Vasco, too. Ivanna, who is preparing for her standard ten exams, says it was tough to balance studies with practice, but it was not impossible. “We practiced for about three hours for nearly a month, but as the competition drew closer we practiced for nearly five hours a day. I would try and finish studies in the afternoon and then head to practice,” says Ivanna. Thought these students were away from their homes for a period of three days, they were fortunate to have missed school only for one day. “Luckily it was the Gandhi Jayanti weekend and I just missed school on Saturday. I had already asked my friends to keep their notes available when I get back,” says Maeve.
Cyder Dias says he is grateful to have a teacher like Martin D’Costa and under his guidance he has tried to reach his full potential as a dancer. They won two gold medals in cha cha and jive in the children category at the 7th Maharashtra Dancesport championship organised by Maharashtra Dancesport Association, held at the at NCPA Auditorium, Nariman point, Mumbai. Cinida and her mum are ecstatic about this win. She has been taking classes from Martin for the last five years, when she first read about his classes in the papers. “I always wanted to dance, and when I learnt about the classes in Panaji, I took the opportunity,” says Cinida.
Armed with the medals these young dancers are now in seventh heaven with some of them even considering taking up dance as their career. “After this win I am thinking of taking dance seriously,” says Seby. Seeing the opportunities available, Milroy wants to give his dancing career a shot, while Ivanna is certain she sees a bright future for her in the field. “I want to take it up as a career. To pursue it I want to move out of Goa or even out of the country,” says Ivanna. Cinida also has aspirations of becoming a professional dancer thanks to the support she got from her family in this choice. “I have always been supportive of her choices, and I am proud of what she has achieved. I feel parents should be supportive and encourage their children. That way they will grow to their best potential,” says Cinida’s Mother, Meotoldina Dias.
Every student has to be groomed under a tutor to bring out the best in them. These students are no different. True, they have talent, but harnessing this talent and helping them to channelise their efforts to something productive was the important thing. And dance instructor, Martin D’Costa has been a great help in just this, spotting talent in each of these students he has moulded them into the dancers they are today. “When choosing particpants to go for the competition I look as aspects like musicality (sensitivity to, knowledge of, or talent for music), footwork, and floor craft. When submitting the names for the competition I also kept in mind that they shouldn’t be pitched against each other,” says Martin, thus giving all his students a chance to bring back medals. Most of these students have been studying dance over the past five years.
Talking about his student’s careers in dance, Martin validates that there is definitely a career path for those willing to take dance seriously. “If you’re serious about it, there are a lot of options for your future. Competing is one aspect, where you can even rise up to the international level. Once you’ve made your mark, you can take up judging as a further career option, and then there’s the teaching option, too. On a lighter note, there’s the perk of travelling to new places, as competitions are held all across the world,” says Martin.
With a wide choice available to these students, one can see a bright future for them. They have been a part of the contingent that made Goa proud. Apart from the medals that these teens won, the other participants representing Goa were: Agnelo D’Souza and Carolyn Nunes, who won gold medal in the rumba bronze level and silver medal in waltz; Stephen Cardozo and Daisy Lopez, who won the bronze medals in cha cha cha in bronze level at the India International Tanzsport Contessa. Nadia and Lloyd Souza brought home the gold in cha cha and Nelson Menezes and Kavita Bicholkar secured fourth place in the senior category at the 7th Maharashtra Dancesport Championship organised by Maharashtra Dancesport Association.